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Joint statement against anti circumcision legislation in Iceland

Open letter to Icelandic MPs

We, the Jewish Communities in the Nordic countries strongly protest the proposed legislation banning brit mila, the Jewish tradition of neonatal circumcision of boys.

Iceland would be the only country to ban one of the most central, if not the most central rite in the Jewish tradition, in modern times. But not so in the long tradition of The Jewish people. More than one oppressive regime has, through history, tried to suppress our people and eradicate Judaism by prohibiting our religious practices.

Iceland does not have an organized Jewish Community today. Banning brit mila will be an effective deterrent and will guarantee that no Jewish community will be established.

This letter might be perceived as meddling in Iceland’s internal affairs. And why should we care? The reason is that you are about to attack Judaism in a way that concerns Jews all over the world. If any country with next to no Christian inhabitants would ban a central rite in Christianity, like communion for instance, we are certain that the whole Christian world would react as well.

We urge you to vote against the bill banning Brit mila and rather look to Norway’s legislation effective from January 2015 protecting the the Jews’ right to brit mila.


Dan Rosenberg-Asmussen President The Jewish Community in Denmark

Ervin Kohn President The Jewish Community of Norway

Yaron Nadbornik President Central Council of Jewish Communities in Finland

Aron Verständig President Council of Swedish Jewish Communities

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